Pocket door guides are small plastic retainers that are installed at the bottom of the door jamb. As the door closes the guides keep the door going straight. Without the guides you may have difficulty getting the door to latch.

Not sure if this is your problem? See the articles 'Troubleshooting Pocket Doors' and 'Adjusting Pocket Doors' for a listing of related topics.

Purpose of Pocket Door Guides

Pocket doors are installed differently than most other doors. Instead of being attached at the side, they are hung from the top. Most pocket doors have two hangers and two sets of rollers at the top of the door.

The rollers allow the door to follow a metal track when the door opens and closes. The rollers keep the door aligned at the top.

The bottom of the door is another matter. There is nothing that keeps the bottom of the door in place, other than the pocket itself. Pocket door guides keep the door centered in the pocket.

Due to the design of pocket door latches there is a tendency to push the door away as it is being closed. This adds to the problem. For the latch to work the door needs to go in between the two stops at the strike side of the door.

Troubleshooting Pocket Door Guides

For the guides to work properly, they need to be set so that they hold the door snugly in the center. However, they should not rub or created friction on the door.

Check the guides at the bottom of the door frame. Is there a gap between the door and the guide? Can you move the door back and forth between the two guides? If so, you need to adjust the guides.

If the guides are loose, you may need to tighten them or replace the screws with a slightly larger one.

Adjusting Pocket Door Guides

Pocket door guides have a slot in them that allows for adjustment. Loosen the screw a turn or two until the guide can be moved. Move the guide until it is within the thickness of a heavy sheet of paper away from the door. Make sure that the door is in the center of the pocket. Use a tape measure to check the distance from the edge of the door jamb.

Adjust both guides so that the door is held in place without binding. Move the door back and forth to make sure there is no friction.

Installing Pocket Door Guides

It could be that you do not have any guides installed on your pocket door. Or, they may be worn or damaged. This is not a problem, they are easy to install.

Obtain a new set of pocket door guides at a home supply store or order them on the internet. They should only cost a couple of dollars.

Locate them so that they lightly touch the door when it is centered in the opening. Mark the location for the screw in the center of the slot. This will give you some adjustment room when the guide is installed.

Install the guides on both sides of the door, close too the bottom of the door (not the bottom of the frame). Leave a the thickness of a thick sheet of paper between the guide and the door, so that it will open freely.

Pocket Door Guides - Summary

Once you have installed your guides you will want to make sure that your pocket door is properly adjusted. See the article 'Adjusting Pocket Doors' for information and instructions.


Hopefully, you have been able to solve your issue with your pocket door. Adjusting the guides is not that hard and you should have been able to do it in a few minutes.

Installing are replacing the guides is not hard either. Once you located new ones the repair should have been simple.

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